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Us 12, Costco 9, Romney 9, Gallup 9, America 7, Washington 6, New York 5, U.s. 4, Ohio 4, Walmart 4, Obama 3, Msnbc 3, Arizona 3, Chris Hayes 3, Bob Murray 3, Utah 2, Sleep Train 2, Massachusetts 2, Paul Ryan 2, Marie Callender 2,
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  MSNBC    Up W Chris Hayes    News/Business. Smart  
   conversation on news of the day. New.  

    October 14, 2012
    5:00 - 7:00am PDT  

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so we make something else. we help make life a little easier, more convenient, more rewarding, more entertaining. year after year. it's the reason why we don't have customers. we have members. american express. welcome in. good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes. the obama campaign said they broke a presidential campaign record by topping 4 million individual donors. the taliban is claiming responsibility for a suicide attack in afrg that killed six people yesterday including a nato officer. we have josh, lead writer from blookberg news.
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sarita, a labor policy group. maya a nonprofit group that specializes in public research great to have you here. during the vice president debate, paul ryan reprised the line republicans used repeatedly in making a case for a romney presidency. >> mitt romney, his experience, his ideas, his solutions is uniquely qualified to get this job done. at a time with a jobs crisis in america, wouldn't it be nice to have a jobs creator in the white house? >> that's the heart of his candidacy. he knows how to create jobs. romney points at his career in the private sector. binge capital specialized in debt buyouts, company that is result in bankrupt, and layoffs.
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he focuses instead on the few start ups he helps provide funding for, companies we recognize like sports authority and staples. the problem with spotlighting those businesses is their success hinges on a premise that is unpalettable as private equi equity. they explain efficiencies of sales, offer goods and services of small businesses but lower costs. staples keep their costs low by offering low wage sales associates jobs of $9 an hour. the national employment project named staples as one of the 50 low wage employers in the country. on one hand, they contend that small business are the engines of the economy. on the other, whoever can work cheaply and efficiently should win in the open market. i think this to me gets at the
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heart of some of the cant and rhetoric i have been frustrated with. josh, i want to go to you. you wrote a piece discussing the offshoring stuff. defend what you do. stop pretending you don't do what you actually do. i feel like we are having this disengeneral would you say operation. one side should be making the case for capitalism as opposed to dancing around the fact that is what they believe in and are doing. >> i don't think romney is running away from staples or walmart. i think republicans, it hasn't been a big issue, but i think republicans are happy to make the case for why the transformation in retail over 30 years has been a good thing. the case is lower prices for consumers. there's the impact on workers but you have to look at the impact on customers. the customer base is a lower income base and to the extent
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their purchasing power is increased substantially, that's a real benefit. i think we overstate what we lost here. retail jobs are low wage jobs because they are unskilled jobs. it's not like the people working in the mom and pop stores getting displaced had high wage jobs with health benefits they lost. there are people who operated those businesses that lost out. it's not like there's a big high paying job base in retail before staples got there. >> i want to go back to a basic premises. this idea that this is, over time, efficient. there's not great evidence on economy of scale over a certain size. what we know is you see economies of scale on the political sphere. once you get big enough, you can crowd out other companies. it's not obvious. if you adopt their idea of
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efficiency, whether this is the most efficient or -- >> let me bring in someone who knows a thing or two about this. tom is the guy who came up with the idea for staples, founder of the retail chain. he's vocal supporter of mitt romney, including speaking on behalf of the convention. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> i want to play this montage. you were a company and your business idea, i have been through your book. i sat in on your meeting yesterday. was it just me but when i was 10 or 11, i loved going to staples. exceedingly nerdy. >> luckily, there are a lot of people like you. >> this is a common feeling. when you buy a new day planner, my life now makes sense. here is mitt romney talking about staples and touting staples on the campaign trail. >> some of the companies we helped start are names you know,
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an office company called staples. you have heard of staples of course. >> staples is a business that while i was with the firm we invested in. we invested in an office super store called staples. i saw a staples distribution center. a company calls staples. staples employs over 90,000 people. >> tom, why do you think mitt romney talks about your company so much? >> well, i think, you know, our company and several of the other companies he invested in like day care centers didn't just make money for binge capital but a benefit in society. if you look back at what existed at the time, if you were a small business person, you were paying twice what staples charged for the same product. you had to go to five or six companies, a software store, a
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computer store, a copier store to get everything you needed. staples put it all under one roof and opened on saturday and sunday when the other guys nights an early mornings when the rest of them were not there. it made it easier for entrepreneurs to run their businesses and save money, thus helping foster other entrepreneurs. in the case of bright horizons, i think the social benefit was that you really need high quality day care for women to be able to work and feel comfortable that their kids are okay. it's the biggest single provider of workplace day care centers in the country with well over 10,000 associates throughout the united states. these companies didn't just make money, but a major social benefit. >> i think that's why the emphasis is on the campaign when they were doing more start up funding of new ideas. it comports to our idea of how american capitalism can work as
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opposed to debt refinance restructuring. there's destruction i would like you to talk about. there's lower prices for people starting small businesses and need the supplies. there are a lot of small businesses getting put out of business because they can't compete. in 1997 there were 6,000 office stores compared to 13,000 years earlier. in a new york times article, he described the staples plan. what they saw in the business plan is summed up as a classic category killer like toys "r" us. i'm not saying mom and pop shops have a special elevated spiritual status, but the kind of consolidation is what we have seen in amazon and walmart. we don't have mom and pop
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retailers doing that kind of thing. >> interestingly, i'm a venture capitalist trying to create jobs in other countries. amazingly, liook what happened o that spirit. jay mclof lynn. the entrepreneurism in retail exists. it's not all about driving down prices. we invest in a tea business, david's tea, which is doing exceptionally well today. there's lots of stuff out there and opportunities for the small stores. you just don't want to be in categories where the customer wants to save a lot of money. >> isn't that every category? the trend in american business, this is broadly the case -- >> no. chris, that's just wrong. look at lulu lemon.
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their prices are double because it's better quality and better fit. it's not just about price. >> in the future, we will be yoga instructors. those are the two job categories. jeff? >> that sort of literally the vision of the future economy. when he writes about this and the problems with, you know, the hollowing out of the mid skill sector. >> yeah. >> his comment is we should have more personal trainers and people making the best sandwiches you can find. >> it's the way the economy seems to be going. there's a small sector of high skilled employment. it's lucrative. you hear this all the time, engineers, there's a lot of job openings. then a sea of $9 an hour retail jobs. >> it's $9 an hour retail jobs that need benefits. they are poor and experiencing food insecurities.
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they are not able to translate the earnings into the ability to get child care for their children or make ends meet at the end of the month. >> just to clarify -- >> i'm not done. costco. i don't think we are saying venture capital is bad or doesn't add value to the economy. the question is what kinds of jobs are we adding and what do they deliver for people as well as consumers. workers are consumers. >> all these big companies you mentioned so far, every single one of them provides health care benefits to their associates. the notion -- i tell you, staples, costco, walmart, they all provide that service. >> i beg to differ. if you look at walmart, they get around providing health care for their associates by cutting the hours. >> right. >> they make sure the associates don't work enough hours to actually, you know, be eligible for their health care plan. >> hold on one second.
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i want to show statistics on wage growth. i want to dig in on this. i think this is essential about what we are talking about when talking about the economy broadly after we take this break. [ male announcer ] kids grow up in no time... marie callender's turkey breast with stuffing is a great reason to slow down. creamy mash potatoes, homestyle gravy and 320 calories. marie callender's. it's time to savor. [ male announcer ] jill and her mouth have lived
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we're talking about american, large american enterprises like staples and other american killers. they are the future of the american economy. we have a question about the recession and a broader question of what it looks like if and when we recover. we have tom who is the founder of staples, a mitt romney supporter. tom, we put up this data here just about where, what the median salary is from the bureau
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of labor statistic and the median salary. in the 2011 staples annual report, they discuss, many associates are an entry level or part time positions with high rates in turnover. the question is, if this is a fast category of job growth, is this the job growth that can sustain the middle class? >> i have been out of there for seven years, so i wouldn't talk about that. if you look at the most successful retailers, costco is probably the most successful big box retailer out there. their strategy is to pay more than anybody else. lulu lemon is the most -- their strategy is to pay more than anyone else. so, you know, this basic notion that the winners get there by paying less is not true. >> that's an interesting
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question. >> pay more. >> right. that's an interesting question. the argument you just made, we had this argument and there's been a big discourse on walmart among liberals and intraliberal debate. they wrote a piece called walmart, a progressive success story. if you look at the purchasing power of lower americans. they say this is a bad story for the middle class. people point to costco to say you can have both, a successful enterprise that does large marketing and selling and also pay a living wage. >> that's right. costco pays $19 an hour for their employees. walmart pays $8.81. >> it's $15,500 a year. how is anyone supposed to survive on that. >> the biggest difference is
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that the vast majority of hours worked at a walmart store are part time. >> that's an intentional strategy. >> exactly. that goes back to what kinds of jobs are being created. what we see, there was a survey done of hr professionals herlier this year. 34% of these professionals sads they are leading toward more temporary and part time jobs. what does that mean for our economy? how are people supposed to survive on part time jobs. >> what you'll find out, if you go into the stores and talk to people, as i do, because of the tremendous destruction and net worth where average income per family has gone down by 5 r$5,0 per family, they are working them as a second job, not a primary job because they need to make ends meet.
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to creigh nate justice is to create job growth. it's what a mitt romney president will do. >> i think full employment, believe me, no one loves full employment more than me, more than the left. people who have been objected to full employment, if you look during debates in the 1990s, the people who worried about full employment have been business owners because it drives up labor cost. as you know, they are the biggest part of cost, if you are doing retail. i don't think you'll find disagreement here about the virtues of full employment as the ultimate angle. >> i'm curious about this point. if romney's campaign states he crea creat created through bain capital, 1 million jobs. if we are doing a straight up analysis of job creation, i think the numbers have a specific answer about how jobs
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are created at that level of scale. what is the response to that? >> i think all this goes to what i see as romney's truly pessimistic vision for america is dystopia. get to a society full of $9 an hour people working second jobs because they have to. it's unambitious. it has a real effect on workers as citizens. it's hard to be a citizen if you are a $9 an hour job. >> i don't think that's what it is. the reason he talks about staples and sports authority is because it's there. these are the large companies he was involved in fostering at bain capital. retailers tend to have a lot of employees. >> they are recognizable. >> numbers of jobs. i think costco is an interesting and challenging story. they pay well. they have only a quarter as many workers per dollar of sales as
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walmart. they do this bulk sale thing. if you have an unusually small worker base for retailer, it becomes more affordable to pay more. the workers are, i don't know specifically what they are doing, but i think in general, what a worker does in a costco is more skilled than a walmart store. >> it's more skilled and the product line at costco. you can get a cartier watch at costco and that create as higher price margin. their big box doesn't mean they are all the same. >> right. >> mitt romney, his ideal, six years from now, what does the economy look like? >> it's a great question for you, tom. i know you are close to mr. romney. >> i think -- >> sorry. hold that thought. we have to take a break. i want you to answer when we come back. many of my patients still clean their dentures with toothpaste.
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romney, post recovery. i wanted to hear your thoughts on that. >> first of all, he wants to move back closer to full employment with good paying jobs. he knows that starts with education. here in massachusetts, massachusetts became number one under romney's leadership. they can make a lot more money, more than double the $9 an hour you are talking about. retail clerks won't make that much money. the difference is education. you are going to see a tremendous effort on education. it will not be -- the department of education and beaurocracy in washington giving incentives to the state to do the right thing for their citizens. >> i actually have, that story you told about education and employment is one that i have -- i'm very skeptical of but it's the identical story barack obama campaign tells about employment.
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it's exactly, you can go back through the speeches and talk romney's praise for the race to the top. the story that i think both campaigns are telling about a vision for a post recovery economy is one about working. >> don't answer a basic question -- >> obama administration it's arne duncan. it's not just because he's a harvard basketball player, but he's been willing to take on the unions and do the right thing for students when david axelrod gets upset with him. >> we can have a different conversation about education, is it six major companies, all of whom have $15 billion in asset ors is it a society with a few start ups that eventually might take their place? or is it -- >> first of all -- >> what is it actually look like on a institutional level not a
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worker -- >> to be clear, in these kind of jobs, i don't think mitt romney thinks these big, huge corporations are the answer. as a matter of fact, mitt spent much of his consulting career critiquing how the big elephants weren't working well. most of these companies, by the way, are not going to be, you know, category killers and the sort of creative destruction mode. they are technology where we can lead the world. >> i totally understand why it's an appealing vision. it mismatches what the policy looks like and what we do. the fact of the matter is, look at bain capital. they did things that led to staples, which is venture capital. these are the people around bain capital. there's too much risk. the returns took too long to come back. they moved to private equity.
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>> let me tell you -- >> they did -- i want to establish this factually. they changed the business model. >> i don't think it's true. >> it is true. >> chris, let me give you a specific story. my son works for a company called kiva systems funded by bain capital ventures. they have a major venture capital. they are in the business of robotic warehouses. they are good not because they eliminate associates, they eliminate workplace injuries. the company was acquired by amazon.com. they thought it was the best way to run a warehouse. it was a bain capital ventures company started three years ago as innovative company where we can lead the world, sell systems around the world and create jobs. >> i think one of the questions is, what policies will mitt romney put in place that would
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then create a viable economy for the american worker? what we have heard so far is that his plan is to cut taxes. there's a lot of research that shows of the 50 states, the state that is have the highest incomes have significantly higher tax rates than the states with the lowest wages. there's an inverse relationship at the national level between producing good jobs at high pay and tax rates. so, it seems to me, if the policy suggestion is cut taxes in order to create this vision of the economy, there's a disconnect from what we know from social science about how that happens. from your perspective, is that the way to create a vision you just articulated? >> the fact of the matter is the best state of business is texas. texas has very low taxes. i don't think that's coincidence. number two or three is utah. again, they have low taxes.
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where there's stagnant business growth is new york. they have high taxes. so, i think -- i question the premise that you are working on. >> josh. >> i think we somewhat overstate the ability of the government to shape the nature of the economy here. do we want category killers? it's not something that arose because of public policy. it arose because it would have happened regardless of what policy was. there are policy concerns to address but i think a lot of the stuff is out of control of the president. >> all of this is, you know, comes from our liability roles, from our anti-trust rules. >> exactly. there's a huge legal -- let me say this as a final note. if the goal is entrepreneurial capital, you need a financial system that works much better than the one we have now. right now, american finance is
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failing to do the single thing it's supposed to do, which is to channel the money of savers into productive investment. $8 trillion of cash on the sidelines. you have boom and bust cycles, the worst crisis for 70 years. to me, the thing upstream of this is reforming and not further deregulating finance. tom, founder of staples, i enjoyed our time together. thanks a lot. >> thanks for having me. news about how the coke brothers are using their company to round up votes for romney.
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♪ there is a breaking story out today from the times magazine. my former employer. coke industries owned by conservative brothers charles and david coke. offering guidance on how to vote
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in this year's presidential election. we gained access of the documents. the package includes a letter dated from coke industries, president and chief operating officer. robertson writes we are told before each presidential election, it is important and historic, this will be the kind of america future generations inherit. if we want costly subsidies and put burdens on businesses, and excessively hinder free trade, more than 50,000 u.s. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences. it's important we are all educated voters. then there's the flyer it includes including information on voter registration deadlines.
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it contains this package, falling candidates in your state received support from a coke company or coke pack the employee political action committee of coke companies. you can see listed their favored candidates, mitt romney and paul ryan. we asked them for comment. he said to encourage employees to be informed, coke mailed a letter to their 50,000 u.s. based employees, makes clear the decisions about which candidates to support are up to each employee and based on factors important to him or her. the information they request, voter registration deadline, voting deadlines and a list of candidates supported by coke companies. it's no surprise, of course, the coke brothers support romney for president. they promised to spend $400 million for americans for prosperity to prevent president
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obama from winning a second term. they raise questions about the propryettery. agreed ceos marshalling the support of those who work for them. west gate resort ceo david segal e-mailed employees saying he'll have no choice but fire people if president obama is reelected and his tax rates go up. it doesn't pose a threat to your job. what does is another four years of the same presidential administration. if taxes are levied on me or my company, i will have no choice to reduce the size of my company. which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? whose policies will endanger your job. it comes months after a romney
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backer in ohio. robert murray sent a letter to employees asking them to donate if they did not, the coal industry will be eliminated and so will your job. he forced them to pay a rally for mitt romney in ohio. in response, the obama campaign produced this biting ad. >> see the coal miners in these ads, turns out attendance was mandatory. the mine was closed, lost the pay they needed all to be props in romney's commercial. >> they feel forced. they had to take the day off without pay but took a roll call. they had a list of who was there and who wasn't. they felt they would not have a job if they did not attend. >> we are joined by monica from new york university school of law where she focuses on first amendment issues and alex, who
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did the reporting for the report. you have been doing the best campaign reporting for the cycle. everybody should be checking out what you are doing. it's fantastic reporting. i can't praise it enough. people should check out the story in the times. the part that we talked about with coke industries letter is a small portion of a long and lengthy investigative look into coke industries in terms of the political activity of their own employees. the myrrhry energy story is amazing. can you give us an update? the democratic party filed a formal complaint for the way he's been trying to convince employees to donate to the campaign. >> they have filed with the feds and county in ohio. it violates vfederal laws. you cannot force employees to give to campaigns. the people i spoke with said
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they are definitely pressured to give to campaigns. their month li bonuses rode on their participating in the fund raising. legal questions may be raised here. there was a complaint filed by a government group in washington to look into this. my piece, i want to make clear, the company denies they did anything wrong. my piece raises questions about this. it's up to others to determine if they crossed the line. >> this gets us into the substance of this conversation. we were saying what is the terrain look like here? i mean, i'm running my business. what can i do and not do? the place where the law is clearest is on donation. we have very, very clear prohibitions. you cannot say i'm going to give you a $5,000 raise for you to give it to mitt romney.
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the question of forcing someone is the fascinating thing. they said they wrote the letter and asked people to attend the rally. >> the resch sure, what was described to me was pressure. when you arrived at the company, this is not the coal miners, they are engineers, surveyors, accountan accountants. when you arrived at the company, it was clear you were expected to give to the pack. 1%, typically. in addition to that came a barrage of letters from myrrhry himself urging them to attend fund-raisers for a slew of candidates. it's remarkable. there's a cycle, a whole, you know, long line of people who come through to this little italian banquet hall just across the ohio river from wheeling. scott brown, jim demint,
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everybody. they come to this little banquet hall and pick up the checks these hard working, middle class, not well earning people would be expected to give to them. >> you went to a few homes for another company, suarez in ohio. monica, we are not talking donations, it's urging people to vote. what kind of footings are we on right after this break. [ female announcer ] we were flattered when regenerist beat
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viagra. have led to an increase intands clinical depression. drug and alcohol abuse is up. and those dealing with grief don't have access to the professional help they need. when you see these issues, do you want to walk away or step up? with a degree in the field of counseling or psychology from capella university, you'll have the knowledge to make a difference in the lives of others. let's get started at capella.edu can your boss tell you who to vote to or who to give money to? i want to talk about one more part of your reporting i thought was mind blowing, which is in another story from ohio and a company calls suarez. >> right. >> their supervisory employees gave lots of money to
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candidates. you went and talked to the employees on the, it's all publicly listed who gave money. you showed up at their homes. they gave $5,000. >> $20,000 a couple living in a home that according to zillow.com is worth 140,000 dlarsz. >> yes. >> what did you find? >> people who did not want to talk about this. they did not want to talk about why they gave. the senate candidate was running. jim, the house incumbent running against another house incumbent. i went to a lot of the houses, it was fun. i went around the greater canton area. went to modest houses, ranches, split level. you and your husband gave $20,000. that's a lot of money. why? do you really love him? they didn't want to talk about
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it. finally, one woman said that she really didn't want to talk about it. the fbi had already been by to talk about it. the fbi was looking into it. subsequently they gave back money. more than $100,000. i think it's worth pointing out why this kind of scheme, if you want to call it that is valuable for candidates these days. you wonder why -- >> in the citizens united. >> why not just, if you are bob murray, cut a $2 million check to mitt romney. >> why push your employees? >> there's a few reasons why this is valuable. this old fashioned giving. one, it makes the candidate you support appear more broadly supported, more popular. you have all these people in cold country in ohio who gave to me. it gives you a sheen. the second thing is it is more valuable to the candidates to
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have that money than the superpack money. it's under their control. >> yeah. >> they, themselves -- it's literally worth more in ad time. >> let's talk about the -- josh, i want to bring you in here, too. let's put aside donations. it's guided by its own frame work and talk about the massive gray area. i have 100 employees. lord, i want them to vote for my candidate. what can i do and what can't i do. >> you can do quite a lot. there's -- you know, you can sort of rightly do quite a lot. there are real problems, you know, first amendment problems about being heavy handed. you don't want to say we're going to have no political speech in the workplace. you can't say hey, i'm hosting a fund-raiser, want to stop by? you want to be careful when going after the heavy handed tactics you don't, you know,
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silence a lot of valuable political speech. but, i think that the legal protection that are in place tend to be peace meal and focus around retaliation. there are laws in about half jurisdictions that prohibit retaliation for various forms of political activity, it could be speech, it could be voting, it could be contributions, signing a ballot petition. >> if you are not in one of those jurisdictions and i find out, i'm your boss and we are in the boston suburbs and you are going door-to-door for elizabeth warren. you are going door-to-door for a candidate i don't like, i call you and say you are fired. i can do that? >> yeah. >> that is crazy to me. >> it's crazy to me as well. >> what we are saying is our understanding of the law is half the jurisdictions it's not prohibits, it's legal. >> let's deal with what that
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means. let's understand what working people are facing in this election. it means, so i go to work, i get a letter from my employer or told i'm nudged, intimidated into making donations or voting a particular way. at the same time, let's not leave out the attacks on my voting rights. at the same time, reducing early voting, craziness with the registration process. at the same time, my voting, losing my right to vote and i'm also, not to mention, in today's workplaces, private sector workplaces, we have decimated a right to form a union. >> this is the thing. this is what i think is so interesting. speech that comes from the boss is very different than hey, do you want to go -- i want to get into how we think about that legally because when you get a letter saying if you don't vote
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for this candidate, your job might not be there the next day. it's different than if i knock on your door saying i'd like you to support my candidate.
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we are taking about political speech in the workplace and the fascinating and fuzzy line of what your boss can tell you to do. the point i was making before the break, an e-mail from the boss, here is another one. i'll read this. this is one we obtained. it's not been made public. this is from asg. we tried to contact them arthur alan, who is head of it by phone. e-mails. we placed calls and sent e-mails to other officials. we did not receive a response. we reached out to them. this is an e-mail from the president and ceo of asg
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software solutions. will the presidential election directly impact your future jobs at asg. the same theme. please read below. if the u.s. re-elects president obama our chances of staying independent are slim to none. if he fails to make the right choice, we lose our independence of a company, i don't want to hear complaints. one more chance to stay independent by voting in a new president. even then, we have to remain independent, but at least give us a chance. this feels fundamentally coer coerced. >> what do you want to do about it? i have a right to say to you, you know, i think you should vote this way. if you don't, i think terrible things are going to happen. he has a right to say it to his
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employees. >> he can make them happen. if barack obama is reelected, it's going to be terrible for msnbc and our show is going to go off the air. you are not my boss who makes it programming choice. >> do you want to ban him from selling his company? i'm sure you don't. there's all sorts of behavior that we can't address legally. this falls in that category. >> i agree with you on this. i think this is first amendment protected speech. the reason the coercion is because this is a tactic. you can have a meeting where you say, here is an eight-hour long teach session of the evil things the union will do. it's legal to do that. the question is, is it legal, right now, if i -- if i were the
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coke brothers, i'm not saying they are doing this, if i got all 50,000 employees for eight hour sessions for everything terrible about barack obama. mandatory attendance, could you do that legally? i think it's an open question. i want to talk about whether it's legal and if it should be after this break. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪ introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪
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what's in your wallet? hello from new york. i'm chris hayes. i have jeff from the ticker, sarita from american rigs at work and alec from the new republic. great to have you here. we are talking about what you can do in your workplace in terms of political activity and what the boss can do in your workplace in terms of political activity and what he can and cannot compel you to do. we have a variety of examples of
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employers pushing donations to candidates. also sending e-mails or notes that employees are saying you should vote for this person. it's first amendment protected speech. as we get closer to the red line, it's illegal to say, if you don't vote for this person, i will fire you, right? >> there are voting laws that protect against that. >> that's illegal. now the question is, you come in and say today, for your job, you are the middle manager in the chris hayes industry, today, we are all, as part of our work, we are going to go knock on doors for candidate "a." >> it's less clear. i think it's perfectly legal. you can say hey, look, as a company endeavor, let's go back our favorite candidate. it's -- it's -- you know, it's problematic. you were talking about this eight-hour teaching example
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prior to the break. i think it's inappropriate. i would hope a company policy would agree with that. when you legislate against that, you run into problems. you are not allowed to talk politics in a meeting? you are not allows to talk politics on company time? it becomes, you know, the problems with trying to legislate something like that sweep up so much protective speech. >> citizens united comes in on this. it's going to make it easier to do the coerced requisite going door-to-door work. the republicans on the federal elections committee sees this as giving company resources. >> there's a fascinating example of a utility union in hawaii favoring a democratic candidate requiring its employees to go do election activity for the
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democratic candidate. it's a democratic candidate. it's a 3-3 split. the republicans said it was fine. the democrats said it was not fine because they are all thinking of the category of employers more broadly. >> it's not illegal. it's hard to say that anything is clearly illegal outside criminally defined per am ters. they are unable to agree on what is legal and what is illegal. >> if it's allowed, it's reported as a donation to the candidate. some companies, most companies would be reluctant to do that. they would be on the record as taking their employees time for this political purpose. >> let me do something dangerous here. to push back on this we can't start legislating this. it seems to me that speech in the workplace that emanates from the top down as a different kind of fundamental quality.
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there are ways we legally acknowledge it in other place. in labor law, we have restrictions on what the boss can say because we reck nice that speech is speech that comes with an athor thaitive force. >> oh, yeah. in terms of title seven and terms of employment discrimination, i as your supervisor i can't say as peers. >> what is an example of that? >> let me think off the top of my head. >> hey, you, you have to come out with me tonight. >> you have to go to this party. exactly. >> there is an issue of we were talking about this before whether in some industries you could argue there is a shared interest between the employer and the workers where it's, you know, the employer, let's take the example of this story in the
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republic with the coal company. you have this coal owner who is relentlessly telling employees barack obama is going to take your job and destroy your industry and coal. there are banners up everywhere. you are driving through the countryside and banners saying save ohio, stop obama. it's true, obama has been and will be tougher on the coal industry than mitt romney will be. not as much as bob murray thinks but he will be. in that sense, he's telling his workers look -- >> we have a shared interest. >> on the other hand, there's all sorts of other reasons why it's in their interest to vote democratic, say mine safety. >> right. >> there was a huge accident in utah, nine people died. arguably, there will be stronger mine safety enforcement.
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but, there are, it gets gray. there are legitimate, clear reasons for a coal employee to vote republican. >> another great example of this is in the nevada senate race. >> we have this e-mail. >> e-mails among executives at cesars entertainment. they own half the casinos on the strip. among the executives they made a coordinated effort to get thome to vote for harry reid. >> referring to harry reid, do what we need to do to get them to know there's nothing more important than to get employees out to vote. waking up to a defeat is devastating. somehow the effort is not getting through the ranks. >> they are talking something
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real here. the influence he has is good for the casino industry. congress periodically talks about banning wagering on college sports. it would be against the interest of those on either side. i don't think it's unreasonable to say what can we do to organize for the interest of our industry. it's different for an executive that wants a lower tax rate that is beneficial to him. i don't know if there's a legal distinction. >> there isn't. it's clearly the case. you made this point, one of the things that's interesting is seeing the fact that there's a huge mismatch between the world of democracy, one person, one vote and the world of capitalism which is not equal and the frustration that the ceos and billionaires feel moving from one building to the other. how is it the case? i have all this money, employees and power. on election day, i get one vote like every other poor sap that
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works for me. right? >> there's a hopeful lesson in that. your vote still counts. those 100 coal company employees count as much as bob murray. it's important to send this message out. on that day, as much as he's this lord over southeastern ohio, you know, it's kind of a throwback kind of thing. he's presiding over the state. everyone owes work or livelihood to them. on that day, he's one vote. really must kill these guys. >> i want to thank you for joining us. that was a great conversation. thank you. making sense of the polls. please god with nate silva when we come back. i'm done. are you thinking what i'm thinking?
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♪ gallup's daily tracking poll puts mitt romney leading president obama 2% right now. gallup is one of dozens of polls published every week. the polls at a dizzying speed are enough to drive a person insane. no one, including myself can seem to look away. republicans question or rather freaked out over several polls released prior to the presidential debate with a sizable lead of president obama over mitt romney. >> that begs the question, are these polls dishonest? >> no. look, we endow them with a false scientific precision. >> these polls, i don't pay attention to them schblgt polling is good at saying how
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you are going to vote. it's bad how who is going to vote. the models are crazy. >> the two polls are designed to convince everybody the election is over. >> democrats engaged in polling earlier this week questioning the methodology of the poll put romney up four points over barack obama. both parties have a tortured emotional lelationship with polling. why do we continue to listen? more importantly, what are the polls actually telling us? joining us is nate silver, author of "the signal and the noise: why so many predictions fail." maya wiley, profession sor for the university school of law and dave moore, author of opinion makers. a senior fellow at the institute
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of new hampshire and an editor of gallup where her worked for 15 years. good to have you here. nate, this is a quote from your book, about prediction in a broad sense. interesting stuff about how we use data to make predictions and how we, as we get more an more, how we identify what we need. there's more and more polls and they drive me nuts. not only does it lose the signal, it ak sen waits the noise. if a new poll comes out with a democrat with a lead -- we saw it in an arizona poll. president obama winning arizona. >> it was a big story, obama was up two in arizona, it's an unlikely result given where the election is at right now. a good pollster will have the
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outlying poll, occasionally. it makes for a good story. is there a new swing state in play? the reliable poll that says the same as the other ten doesn't get many headlines. it's where the real meat of the story is. >> how should we be responsible aside of 538.com. what should we do? when there's 15 polls that come out in one day, what do we do? >> this is self-serving. we update our website once a day with the polls. it's the right temperature level for how often you can read the polls. people on twitter critique each poll. you have a run of romney polls that are good for him. people perceive patterns and random noise all the time. at the end of the day, if you digest everything with a coke of whiskey, whatever you want, you
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have time to add more perspective. we have more important and dramatic days with shifts in the race. most of the time, especially in the summer, it adds up to nothing. it was the same story, day after day after day. >> it was important to look at the average of polls. i think it's what happens at five thirty eight. there are other polls. i think one of the things i have to be careful of as consumers of polls is you can't trust a single or individual poll. gallup is doing a tracking poll, it's a trend. if you look at gallup and pugh, they found conflicting results by a difference of six percentage points. you can't trust any single poll. you have to go to the average. >> are we doing no more now that we have more polling? is it the case we have a more accurate sense because of a larger body of data, we can average it out, sitting here 25
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days before the election, 24 days before the election, 2012, am i in a better place and measuring more accurately than 20 years ago? >> we had good elections in 2004 and 2008. 2010 was good for the most part. one scary thing i have seen is pollsters are less independent from one another. here is their average, that must be right, we don't want to be outside the consensus. some polls are out of consensus, converged towards others. >> it's terrible. >> it's terrifying. we don't want to have an effect on the experiment we are trying to observe. on one hand, look, there are some bad polls out there. i don't want to be too much of a critic about an individual poll and scare the pollster into changing their methods. >> maya? >> i was curious about the issue of cell phone only users. i know that one of the issues
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people are raising around the accuracy of polling is increasingly people are reliant on cell phones and so much of polling happens with conventional land mines. for communities of color, they are likely to be only cell phone use users. do you think that's a pattern? >> it's not a problem. major poll sers are all incorporating cell phones. >> the major ones do. some of those that use robo dialling methods. >> they use a third of our cell phones. robo dialling or automated dialling doesn't preclude it as long as for the cell phones you have -- >> you cannot roll the dice of cell phones. >> it's a cost issue. i thought half of polling was news outlets. >> they have realized, you can't make a credible claim if you don't call people who have cell
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phones only. it's a third of the population now. a lot of people, i have a lan line, it came with my cable package. >> i have my ringer off. i want to talk about what polls are good at predicting and bad at predicting. polling as the way we understand the elections and polling of the american people after this. in t! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey!
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♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. talking about poll mania and the way they have taken over our political culture. the quantity has shot up. a lot of us spend a lot of time. i was saying when you are a sports fan and you are walking on a wednesday and you feel down in the dumps and forget why. you remember it's because the cubs lost the night before. it's the same thing with polling. why do i feel out of sorts? the bad poll number. here is an annual number of mentions. this is from 1960 to 2006. this is fascinating data.
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look at this chart. huge, huge up tick, right? we see it starting in the late '70s and it goes up. it goes with election cycles. my question here is, polling on how people vote. it looks to me, if you aggravate the polls, come up with an average, decent at predicting outcomes. then there's the other world of polling, what do people think, how do they feel, what are their preferences, do they like this position or that position. we cited them here. my question is, are they measuring anything real? what is that stuff that measures? you seem to have strong feelings? >> i'm curious to know. i suspect it's an instant reaction and there's research on dlib rative polling. more so than that, when they are in a position of power, people
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have a difference of opinions. not what do i think after learning things but after i'm responsible for it. we want to know what would somebody think. >> if you having this belief meant something opposed to getting off the phone with the pollster. >> one of the problems we have is that a lot of people, probably anywhere from the third to a half are unengaged on any given issue. the polls only use these questions. do you approve or disapprove? or don't you have an opinion. if you say i approve or disapprove, you may say that because you are in a polling context and you have to come up with something and they don't measure intensity. for people who don't have an opinion, they are very, very much influenced by the way in which the question is asked, by the context. if you ask questions about health care and now this question. polls really overstate the
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percentage of people who have an opinion. they are able to influence what people say by the context and question wording it in a way that is really, i think bad. >> we have an example. it's an example pointed to on a blog. this is a question about health insurance in an abc/washington post poll. it does not indicate choice or an option. do you support the government creating a new health plan to compete with private. 52% support. 46% oppose. in another poll, if you say, do you support or oppose giving people the option of covered by a health insurance plan, 62% support and 32% oppose. you have this, you know, 20-point swing based on this one bit of wording. >> it's wording. it's question order. right? which we have talked about. but also none of it tells how
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people are going to behave at the point and time when they have to act on a decision. with the opinion polls, i'm saying are you going vote for president obama or vote for mitt romney, you are asking people something that is a complex set of questions. they are going to be influenced in multiple ways over times, like who is delivering the message and who they have talked to that week and whether they had personal experience that shifted their perception of the issue. >> i think there can be a valuable role for polls. a reason for something is the polls. if there's a real disconnect, 72% of the country or some huge number that support one thing and congress isn't acting, it's useful. >> go ahead. sorry. >> what is the alternative? right? the reason the news bureaus pay a lot for high quality polling is they want to give the proverbial man or woman on the
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street. elites control the opinion. >> this is the vision. this is george gallup's opinion, the father of polling. he had this to say. he thought what he was doing, this is his 1940 book. he thought he was bringing the scientific method to improve feedback, the way democracy works. if they act and learn by action if trues are relative upon the results which action achieves, the chief faith is a faith in experiment. it believes in the value of every contribution of political life and the right of ordinary human beings to have a right. >> that's true. gallup was one of the primary pushers of this idea that in between elections you can find out what the public is thinking. with gallup, a lot has changed since he died and since he was bought out by another organization. most of the polling groups are now media groups. >> right.
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>> when gallup asked a question about the tartly law, he asked whether people knew about it. >> it was a law -- >> in the 1950s. >> sympathy strikes. >> the question is whether or not it should be renewed. you can ask that question today about any policy and 95% of the public has an opinion because of the way in which the questions are used. he didn't do that. >> he didn't? >> not there. he found two-thirds of the public had not any information what so ever. >> shocking. >> of the people that heard about it, 5% to 10% didn't have an opinion. that kind of information would never be produced today. you would never find a media organization saying half or two-thirds of the public is
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unengaged on the issue and doesn't have an opinion. >> talk about reforming polling to do that or measure it. female] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+.
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talking about polling and a polling mad world. polling, particularly in terms of how good of a job it does in predicting elections. to me, it's a tool that does a good job at one thing. with enough data, it does a good job of telling us who is going to win on election day. if you take the poll the weekend before the election, more times than not, the average of those polls tell you who is going to win. then there's the other using polling. it's a larger use of polling that happens in between elections. it's what do we, the american people believe? what is it. it's hazier than it's helping us. what do we mean when we say
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public opinion? when we say someone has a position or this position is polling, does that measure an actual thing out there or is it being constructed by the taking of the poll? >> it measures how people are responding to a question. people don't necessarily know as much as the beltway media think they do about the issues, right? so we were talking on break, cap and trade is a complex solution. >> to climate change. it would be a way of capping carbon emissions. >> pretty complex policy even by washington standards. 50% of the people support cap and trade and other polls are a pop quiz where they ask is it environmental, health care or policy? where there's not that much public discourse, the poll doesn't tell you anything at all. the other thing is, the people who respond to polls are likely
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to be heavier news consumers. 10% of people, even for the best surveys like gallup or pugh. for the cheapest surveys, 3% of people do. you get people more -- >> there's selection bias. >> i also worry about the fact that polls tend to go to a likely voter pool. when they identify who they are going to find to ask, they are looking for likely voters. that means in this nation, we undercounting and underasking people of color and low income people who are also the fastest growing demographics in the country. >> with respect to likely voters you are talking elections. it's not true for most of the major media polling organizations when you are not talking elections. i think maybe rasmussen does likely voter. i think nbc and wall street journal for awhile only
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registered voters. >> other polling? >> most is the adult population. so, it's not so much that. it is the fact that so many people are unengaged on issues that the pollsters don't want to recognize that they can really get big differences. the difference between a bailout and loans to the auto industry, found big differences. sorry. >> what i want to know, you are sophisticated pollsters, i'm not. if i look at a poll, what are the two or three questions i want to know to know whether -- >> it's useful or not. what should we as consumers of polls or -- >> what is my certified seal of throw this out, this is not information. >> the first thing is see who did the poll. i personally only rely upon the major media polls including gallup and the major networks. for the most part, to the extent
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you are getting objective information, you can more or less rely on them. the most important thing after that is what is the way the question is worded? the question wording will absolutely effect what they say. >> here is a question. it seems they all have forced choices. why is it the case to have an industry standard. stop with forced choices. if you are going to ask people, do you believe or support or not support cap and trade or have you not heard of it or do you not have an opinion? as the background bedrock we are operating on, that would help a lot. >> there's no big -- there's a conference, right. it's a free country. polls can use different methods. there's a give and take between on one hand you see the industry
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trying to not look at robo polls or internet polls. i think some of that is well grounded. there's a fear of competition. you can take a robo poll for a couple cents per call and it costs tens of thousands of dollars to do the traditional way. >> the really important thing is what you asked about earlier. what is public opinion. we are talking the concept. what's happened is the polling industry determined that for them, public opinion is what our forced choice poll questions say it is. but, i think from a political science or politics point of view, it's really important to differentiate those opinions people hold that they want their representatives to represent versus opinions that people will give totally off the top of their head and not care about it one way or the other. >> this is where the argument that i hear on the left, that you were making before and i say, financial reform, 70% of
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people are in favor of financial reform. they don't care. they don't wake up in the morning. they don't get into arguments where their cheeks get flush or financial reform. it's the arguments that make your cheeks flush. the voters really matter. as much intensity as preference. i remember seeing grover nor quis talk about turning taxes into one of those issues. that's what representatives respond to. i want to say, can we measure that? sorry, after this break. time for "your business" entrepreneur of the week. former modelling analyst olga created shoptiques a fashion marketplace that helps local boutiques without their own e-commerce site. she launched an online magazine for a source of what's in. for more, watch "your business"
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sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc.
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we are talking about polling and what polling measures and doesn't measure. preference and intensity. you wanted to say something. we are talking financial reform. >> we all fall into this rhetoric, this is the currency, what do people think. it's more of a consumer model in a couple ways.
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you were comparing polls to scotch. people are selling polls with high numbers because we get a hit off the high numbers. >> absolutely. >> we have to demand is certified humane poll model you are talking about. >> organic polls. >> i'm not going touch that poll. >> it's true, though. >> then i'm interested, also in that it turns us, if we answer a poll question, it's different than being a citizen. if we want to have a portrait of society, accuse politicians. use polls as a way to say hey, you aren't doing a good job of educating the public. >> we did a poll on ethics for ourselves and we did a poll on the bailout of the auto industry or the way pugh phrased it, the loans that were given to the auto industry in order to prevent them from going under. they got a big majority in
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favor. gallup said do you favor or oppose the bailout of the auto industry and they got a majority opposed. when we replicated it, we got the same results. we asked if they would be upset if the opposite happened. half of the public did not have a meaningful opinion on the policy at all. the rest of them were evenly divided between strong support and strong opposed. that was a better picture of the public. >> we see it in the way washington works. the example we gave during the break is gun control. 60% of the public favors gun control. it doesn't happen in washington because they oppose it with vim, vigor, money and structure behind them. is there a way of getting a better sense of what public
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within is? can we measure it? what are you going to be voting on when you go in on november? the reason polls work well is they literally are yes or no. romney or obama or johnson. you have two choices. for that, right, that happens to work well with the frame work of the simplicity we like. for most other public policies, there's nuance and complexity. we have to demand more of ourselves. in terms of the media and the public to be more tolerant of looking at different sides of an issue. it's not always easy to pick public opinion instead of wanting a poll result that explains everything. there's no way to do that. >> what about the intensity? finding out what people are intense about. so much of what we are talking about, issues that aren't resinating for people. it's not their bread and butter
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issue. the poll that is are better at articulating what americans are concerned about. >> my suspicion is this is true on the deficit. people toll pollsters are worried about the deficit. it's a stand in for, you know, a bad economy or moral degrade asian or whatever it is. i refuse to think many people are showing up on tuesday. >> a lot of times pollsters ask, do you feel strongly about that or not strongly? the problem is they don't know what to do with it. what they do is combine the not strong and the strong and treat them as though they are equal degrees. now, it is a very difficult, i think philosophical opinion or approach or problem to try to differentiate an opinion that matters versus top of the mind. one of the ways we did it, we said, if you supported the bailout, we say how upset would
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you be if we hadn't supported it, not very upset. >> that's a good question. >> it's a way to find out your opinion is not one you want to represent because you didn't care. >> we should say there's one place or places in which longitudinal studies are measured. gay marriage, for instance. we have a long data set on people's opinion. it seems like the polls are moving in a direction that are measuring a shift in public opinion as a fact about where people's opinions are. it's not completely useless. it's more complicated than it looks. all right, what you should know for the news week ahead, coming up next. [ female announcer ] pop in a whole new kind of clean. with tide pods. just one removes more stains than the 6 next leading pacs combined pop in. stand out.
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♪ a quick update on a discussion we had earlier in this program with staples founder tom. tom disputed my assertion under
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romney bain capital turns toward less risky buyouts. they spoke with romney and he thought putting money into young firms and i quote romney here, quote, would be just as good as acquiring an existing company and found that better. there's a lot greater risk in a start up than acquiring an existing company. romney was much more comfortable in an environment where the issue wasn't whether or not it would pan out, but whether the numbers would work. he knew himself. he was not at heart an entrepreneur. so, what should you know for the week coming up? frustrated workers at walmart have an ultimatum. stop retaliating or face a one day action on the friday after thanksgiving, typically the biggest single shopping day of the year. the announcement came after
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walmart workers walked off the job. you should know while walmart is a powerful corporation, it's thus far ruthlessly, the supply chain is vulnerable to work stoppages. this could get interesting. you should know that arizona republican representative jeff flake running for state's open senate seat against democrat richard carmona denied during their debate he signed the infamous no tax pledge. according to to him, he indeed signed the pledge. polling in arizona shows a surprisingly close race between the two men. 170 workers at a factory in free port, illinois stands to lose their jobs at the end of the year when bain capital closes their plant and shifts jobs to
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china. they are asking mitt romney who's made hundreds of thousands of dollars to save their jobs. he's refused to meet with the workers. you should know we'll have one of the sensata workers here to talk about the story. finally, you should know that romney and president barack obama will be scaring off for the second tv debate in new york. you should know the format will be a town hall with undecided voters posing questions for the candidates. we will cover the debate here on msnbc. special coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. you should know i'll probably once again sell out and wear a tie. i want to know what my guests think we should know for the week coming up. dave? >> next week in the debate, it's going to focus on foreign policy and most pundits tell you the
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foreign policy is not important in an election because people focus on domestic policy and the economy. but, what i would say, you should know that foreign policy, while the substance may not be important, the way the candidates portray themselves, whether they portray themselves as knowledgeable, informed, competent to be commander and chief is important and crucial. >> very interesting. mila? >> one in six u.s. households will not not have enough to eat by the end of the month. half of all jobs will still pay less than $34,000 a year and we will not hear much discussion of poverty in america this week. >> i hope we get question about poverty on tuesday. the irony here is you have a situation you cynically see the romney/ryan campaign invoking the poverty statistics as a way
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of beating up on the record of the incumbent they are against. the cuts from ryan cut programs to the poor, huge cuts to medicaid. devastating for hospitals. >> poor kids in school. >> food stamps. you only see it used very cynically. never actually discussed. >> there's a major legal battle in ohio about early voting in ohio. we are waiting to see whether the supreme court takes the case about whether to uphold or strike down at least for this important election, early voting in ohio. >> early voting specifically in the weekend before the election, which is what it -- at issue, the obama campaign filed a complaint against the secretary of state of ohio to maintain
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that window of early voting the weekend before the election. >> it would violate equal protection not to allow it. they allow it for some. the irony is the obama campaign is citing bush v. gore. ohio is saying bush versus gore shouldn't be used because it's not powerful in that area. >> they said don't use that. it's always an indicator fine legal reasoning is about to happen. when your supreme court says it should not be present. >> we are having a debate this week. a rant here. i think the media coverage of debates the dismal. >> how dare you? >> how dare i say so. the group that will creep in right away, miss the first 15 minutes of the first presidential debate, i did think obama lost. it was already decided he lost. it made everything read in a
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different frame. a different frame for the second debate. if i was the commissioner, i would say let's have a blackout for the first half hour. chopshow bears. >> you are getting me where i live. you are getting me where i live. i stayed off twitter for the last debate. i didn't want to be subject to it. i'm going to do it tuesday night. i want to form my own opinion. i want to thank my guests, sever and nate silver. dave moor from the university of new hampshire and mila wiley. thank you all. thank you for joining us. we're back next saturday and sunday. patrick gaspard and an marie director of policy planning. coming up next is melissa harris
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perry. she takes her this week segment to florida. an attempt to impact the outcome of the 2012 election. that's coming up next. see you next week here on "up." bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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